Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Losing Touch with Reality: What Follows if We Shift Ourselves to Virtual Worlds?

Professor Joachim Bauer

The number of people spending extended times within digital communication channels (Social Media, generative language models such as ChatGPT) and/or within virtual worlds (Videogames, Metaversum) has dramatically increased. Research has shown that this may have serious consequences for mental and physical health, especially in children and adolescents (see the Surgeon General´s warning in May 2023).

Moving one´s own identity and lived life from the analogue reality into virtual worlds is not only a (problematic) side effect of the digital revolution, More than this, it is the program and agenda a digital ideology called „transhumanism“ has devised for the future of humanity. As an ultimate step, transhumanism anticipates „mind uploading“ on a computer, connected with the (serious) promise of immortality (see, for example, David Chalmers´ recent book „Reality+“).

Replacing reality by virtuality already has alienated and will even more alienate humans i. from their own body; ii. from one another; and iii. from nature. De-Bodyment and social isolation will result in mental disorders. Since the body is an important source of the development of cognition, additional consequences may be expected if very young (1-5 yr. old) children are provided (and sedated) with digital gadgets (for a deepened understanding, see Joachim Bauer: „Realitätsverlust“ (Loss of Reality).

Professor Joachim Bauer

Joachim Bauer studied Medicine in Freiburg (Germany). He received a postdoctoral training at the Department of Biochemistry of the Freiburg University Medical School and at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC.

Completed clinical educations: Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychsomatic Medicine.

In addition, Bauer is accredited as psychotherapist (trained in both, psychodynamic and behavioral school).

His affiliations are the Freiburg University School, the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, and the Berlin Teaching and Research Institute of the German Academy for Psychoanalysis (Berliner Lehr- und Forschungsinstitut der DAP).